An update to my previous post, unfortunately you can’t do a mod like the Dell SC420 16X PCI-E graphics card mod. Dell seem to have got wise to people buying up cheap servers and turning them into high-end desktops. It looks like the 1X PCI-E slot is the only option. 8X PCI-E I could live with, but at 1x PCI-E speeds, I might as well stick to onboard graphics.
Most people would try and get a refund, but where is the fun in that. Instead lets turn this into a little project/experiment, lets see if I can still build a cheap desktop out of the parts.
I don’t want to break benchmarks, my requirements are to be able to run Crysis at a reasonable FPS and resolution, as well as using it as my primary development machine (this means running Visual Studio 2008 and Microsoft Virtual Server/PC very well), sort of a workstation gaming rig hybrid.
This post gave me hope it shows you can make use of the AMD Opteron processor in a desktop environment. I know the performance won’t be as good as the Phenom X4 for normal desktop use, but it should be cheaper and the Opteron should beat or equal a comparable Phenom X4 when running Virtualization or Visual Studio.
I’ve striped the T105 of it’s useful parts and will sell off what I can’t use.
Hard drives: 2 X 80GB SATA 7200 RPM, I can use these would of preferred 15000 RPM SAS disks though, but in the interest of this experiment I will keep them
Optical: SATA DVD Drive, I’m going to need DVD R/W, so lets leave it be.
Processor: AMD Opteron 1352 I can definitely use this processor (guess this is the point of what I am trying to do)
Motherboard: The 8X PCI-E slot has no graphics card support, as well as it being that odd miniITX factor makes this not suitable at all.
Heatsink: Bespoke and just crazy don’t ask.
Power supply: Bespoke and designed for a server and at 305 watts not suitable for my needs
Case: Again odd miniITX factor, so lets keep the case, motherboard and power supply together
Memory: 1 GB DDR-2 800MHz ECC, buying ECC will be expensive, so lets sell it
Again sorry the pictures are a bit crap, I am still using my phone till I buy a new digital camera. BTW yes that heatsink was a ***** to get off.
So lets recap, I’m going to make use of the processor and hard drives, but keep the case, heatsink, DVD drive, power supply, memory and motherboard of the T105 together – this is good though as I will be able to sell it as a barebones server.
OK so two 80 GB hard drives and a quad core AMD processor for £150 isn’t great (isn’t terrible either), however I should be able to recoup some of the £150 by selling the shell as a barebones server.
Total expenditure to date: £150
As usual I’ll keep you posted.